Of the 400 consecutive completed suicides investigated over a 5-year period, 114 (28.5%) who had consulted a doctor in the week preceding death were specifically reviewed and compared with those who did not. The study comprised an analysis of the medical history, the scene of death and a complete autopsy with histological and toxicological examination and the identification of features which occurred more frequently in this group when compared with other suicides not contacting their doctors. Suicide-associated factors include psychiatric illness (58.8%), deteriorating health (16.7%), and a loss of spouse (7.0%); all these features were manifested by this group of suicides more frequently than by those who made no clinical contact (P < 0.001). A pre-indication of suicidal intention was made by 45% of these patients. This feature, as with previous attempts, occurred more commonly in patients who consulted a doctor (P < 0.001). Drug overdose was the most common suicidal method chosen (50.9%) and anti-depressants predominated (35%); 78% of those who overdosed ingested prescribed drugs. Poisoning was more common in this group (P < 0.001). Half of the victims committed suicide within 24 hours following consultation; of these, 51% overdosed on drugs with 61% of them ingesting their prescribed drugs. Of these 114 cases, the final consultation in 43% was to collect more drugs. All suicidal threats should be taken seriously, and particular care should be taken in prescribing and dispensing medication which may be fatal in overdose.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.